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Arthurdubya  Arthurdubya is offline
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The rabbit is on the 9 of Swords, the card of desperation, dark times, and often mental illness/troubles. I haven't yet painted the Ace.

And a 3/4 view of the face is a good idea! I was also thinking I could have hooded figures where the shadow obscures only the eyes. Facial hair is a pretty easy giveaway without showing the entire face too. I'll noodle around a bit!
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Well, then! I take that back. In the 9 of Swords, I do see how it fits. In fact, rabbits being fearful creatures at times, and victims of their own nerves, yes, it totally suits the card meaning. And even if I do love rabbits, I understand now how you intended it.

I will edit my post

I am glad any of my ideas may have helped. Thanks for setting me straight! I am obviously going to have to rethink your images and approach. I'm glad you are keeping us all posted on developments.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euripides View Post

You can't depict a body and have it free of some kind of associations.

I only partly agree with this. I think it's technically correct, but the magnitude of your association needs to be taken into consideration.

In NYC, for example, the most common type of clothing is black or grey. To wear brown or green makes more of a statement than wearing black. To wear neon, even more so. While wearing black or grey says "I fit in, I'm the norm, pay no attention", wearing the others draws a crowd, and because it strays from the norm, the question is now "why, and in what way does it stray from the norm"?

I don't want my audience to have these questions on their mind. I would rather they say "it's a guy holding cups, in a storm" than "it's a black guy holding cups, in a storm." Sure, we SHOULDN'T notice that detail and question it, but I believe the audience will, and that will subsequently draw attention away from the other symbols. Instead of thinking "what does the cup represent? What does the storm mean?", there is the additional question of "what does the color of his skin mean? What is the symbolism behind his race?"

I am choosing deliberately, and deliberately choosing to go with convention in most cases. There are certain cards where adding something past the "normative" brings a question or detail that enhances the card. The Fool being an infant, for example, adds to the idea that he is a being that has just started his journey (I was going to leave this as a nice surprise, but it seems this conversation is getting in need of examples and proof). The Magician or Heirophant being older as well.

For consistency and credibility's sake, I should disclose that I myself am a Chinese male. For as long as we've existed in western society, "my kind" has been undersexualized and portrayed as tepid, timid geeks or obedient sons who follow their parents' every whim. Would it be nice to fight these stereotypes, and have an asian male as Judgment raising a sword into the sky as beams of light illuminate the page? Of course. Is this deck the place where I want to do it, or the vessel for this attempt at social change? No.

After thinking about this, I have to decide that the only situation in which a model will deviate from the "societally perceived norm" is if it somehow benefits the message of the card. If not, I risk diluting the deck's original intent and vision.
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I have hopes for where cultural acceptance goes from here, but I also know that there is a time and a place to make these statements. I see my own race marginalized in media, but I understand that there are market forces driving it. It certainly isn't great to see, but it's a logical move, one that I myself would make if I were the director of a blockbuster movie. Change comes slowly, and forcing it immediately into the spotlight will only open more chasms and lessen mainstream willingness to accept the new. We must move at a pace that is comfortable for the population at large, and acceptance is a two-way street.

Again, my profession is as a product designer, and with that comes more than knowledge of how to make things pretty, but social psychology and anthropology. We must know not only WHAT people want to buy, but WHY. There must be restraint, purpose, and most of all CLARITY.

This deck's purpose and vision was not to be a vessel for social change. It was not my intention, and all the work done this far has not been towards that end. If it were, I would have approached it entirely differently. I started to make a sports car and someone said "wouldn't it be great if you could haul a trailer too." Another time, another project, and another purpose.

And Hollywood is changing, but again slowly. A black actor here, an asian actor there. Change comes on a human timescale, and by that I mean generation by generation. When they tried to shoehorn a movie made for the mainstream into a social-change movie (Ghostbusters' all-female cast) it is met with critical failure.

And how would that benefit me? How would that benefit anyone at all?

What if I made a deck with peoples of all various colors and shapes and ages, and meet no mainstream success because it was declared a "social change" deck? Who will have listened? How far-reaching was my message?

And in a divergent case, what if I made a mainstream deck with only the normative ideals of beauty, and it gains a much wider audience? Do I not then have a massive base of followers to send messages to? And if these followers had never considered blacks or asians or older people beautiful, aren't they the audience most worth speaking to? Who's to say that this is my last deck?

If you've not heard recently, Leonardo DiCaprio is leading his own crusade of sorts for climate change awareness through a TV show. What if he hadn't started as a famous actor and instead began his career as a climatologist? Who would he reach? Would we have even known his name?

There must be a strategy behind social change, and it is never as simple as we'd like.

With that said, this was still never my intention for this deck. I grew up poor, to a 1st generation immigrant mother with no father, and I have gained considerable success since then without ever having to draw attention to my race. I am not here to further any racial image or body acceptance, only to return to painting with a subject matter that interested me after a 7-year hiatus.

If this forum wants my deck to be a rider vessel for their own addendum, why not create your own deck in this "Tarot Deck Creation" forum? Where are the messages pushing for more body types or races or ages in any of the other decks I've seen? Who's here to start a "boycott the RWS deck because everybody is white and the same body size" thread? ESPECIALLY when the artist herself was black in 1910?

I have heard your message, but it is not one that I want to adopt into this specific work. That was never the plan.
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DDwarks  DDwarks is offline
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I love your deck even more now
I get where you're coming from being "ethnic" myself.
I know the point you made we'll come as a shock for a lot of people but you've actually explained it like it is for us "minorities".
I love your theme.
None of them look like me, body or skin but i dont care because its not about that.
Im not looking to feel represented body/age in a deck.
Im looking to find somthing new.
Ive already got big plans on how and what to use the deck for too!
You carry on creating. Its your work, your ideas and your soul you're sharing
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DDwarks, thank you so very much. This topic has been surprisingly stressful for me, and I needed to hear that. I had always anticipated criticism as all things go when they are publicly shared, but I didn't think it would've affected me as much as it did.

I might halt posting progress until after the holiday season, so I can be in my own creative bubble again while I churn out paintings during the break.

It IS important to hear that there is an unmet need (more design terminology), and I see lots of potential in a deck that serves to equalize the racial/age/body playing field, but that is not for this deck. Though I should note that it's given me ideas for a second deck, should this first one actually be successful.

Anyway, thank you again for your supporting words. I very much appreciated them.
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Actually, Euripides, on some level, by opening that door, you allowed Arthur to vent something deep that was bothering him (as far as I can see) and in the end, that will help his art be even more powerful. Well, that's my take! One must spit out the ice shards in one's heart, if one is to heal.

And Arthur...as I said to you the first time I posted here, "Having said that, you cannot please all of the people, all of the time! If you tried to pander to everyone, your art voice would get lost" .

Don't lose your art voice for an artist, that is the true voice. And your art is truly worth getting out there in the world, with your message in it. Don't make the deck because you want people to buy it - or to please others - make the deck for yourself, then allow it to have its own path in the world, come what may. That's my best advice to you, as a fellow artist. And as an artist, you must already know that art is dreadfully subjective...

(PS *awesome* comments about the RWS deck!)

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Thank you all again for your replies.

I'm with Padma on this one. No need to cover up the tracks of the creative and thoughtful process. It's messy, but I think we know each other better now than we did before.

Euripides, no harm done. It was a valuable conversation, and one with great implications for how to approach any subsequent decks. I wouldn't want to erase it from my mind, so no need to erase it from the board (unless you'd like). In the end, there was a net gain.
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Commentary about the depiction of body types is quite common here--in the creation threads and throughout the forum. Seems to me that most people appreciate diversity.

I'm always surprised by young Kings, Queens, and other authority figures. Wishful thinking ("I wanna be a High Priestess when I grow up! When I'm 18!")
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurdubya View Post
Thank you all again for your replies.

I'm with Padma on this one. No need to cover up the tracks of the creative and thoughtful process. It's messy, but I think we know each other better now than we did before.

Euripides, no harm done. It was a valuable conversation, and one with great implications for how to approach any subsequent decks. I wouldn't want to erase it from my mind, so no need to erase it from the board (unless you'd like). In the end, there was a net gain.
Thank you Arthurdubya. I'd already gone and deleted my comments (over-reaction is in my nature, I feel). I'm an artist myself, and there have been a couple of points where offhand criticism has really thrown me and had a serious impact on my creativity. I would hate to do that to someone else.

You might be wise to have some caution about putting work-in-progress out for comment. You seem to have quite a strong vision, but I find that everyone has their own ideas, their own uncreated decks in their heads, and even your specific work will trigger different related imagery in the imaginations of others. So there is the risk of having your vision diluted.

I always think like-minded collaboration is the best. Too many voices and it's like the corporate boy-band; a single voice can be like the lead singer gone solo - there's nobody to tell you 'dude, that lyric sucks'. Everyone needs a trusted advisor and a good editor.
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